Last year, Meridian surpassed Nampa as Idaho’s second-largest city, with 95,623 residents. Two new giant apartment complexes planned on East Overland Road between Linder and Ten Mile roads could boost that by 1,500 or more people.
The Southridge Apartments and the Linder and Overland Apartments would add 922 housing units to Meridian’s inventory — more than three times as many apartments as those under construction or newly opened in Downtown Boise. The two properties, now farmers’ fields, are nearly adjacent to one another on the south side of the road, within sight of Interstate 84.
The Southridge project calls for 476 apartments in 43 buildings of two and three stories and 110 units in a second phase. An application submitted by Tim Eck of Eagle, owner of the property and a member of the development firm Southridge Farm, said the first phase will have 118 one-bedroom apartments, 238 two-bedroom units and 120 three-bedroom units. At one person per bedroom, that’s 954 people just in Phase 1.
“I can’t completely verify this, but I believe that’s the largest one in the Treasure Valley,” said Carl Miller, principal planner for the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho, the regional planning agency.
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The Linder and Overland Apartments could house about 600 people in its 336 units, with 150 one-bedroom apartments and 186 two- or three-bedroom units spread among 14 three-story buildings.
Meridian’s population more than doubled between 2004 and 2014. It is the 13th fastest-growing city in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Both apartment projects are in an area the city is interested in developing. The area is zoned for a combination of residential and commercial uses. City officials hope businesses will locate there to serve the new residents so they don’t have to go farther for their needs.
The area is served by a good transportation network, said Caleb Hood, Planning Division manager for the city of Meridian.
“Overland is a major arterial,” Hood said. “You’ve got access to the freeway at Ten Mile. You’re not too far from the Meridian Road interchange. And you’ve got stores such as Walmart just down the road and entertainment options like Roaring Springs [water park] and Wahooz Family Fun Zone [which offers go-carts, miniature golf and arcade games].”
At Southridge, whose application the Meridian Planning and Zoning Commission approved last week, the city will require 909 parking spaces, with over half of them covered spaces. Bicycle racks will provide parking space for 36 two-wheelers.
The development would include a covered picnic area with a fire pit and barbecues, two swimming pools, a fitness center, a clubhouse and a children’s play structure. There would be multiple grassy areas totaling more than 5,000 square feet.
Direct access would not be allowed from Overland. Instead, traffic would be routed onto South Grand Fork Way, on the east side of the property.
The Linder and Overland Apartments would include a 9,000-square-foot clubhouse and community building, a pool and spa, a fitness room and a children’s playground. There would be two barbecue and picnic areas for common use and a large grassy area. Each apartment would have a private balcony.
The Linder and Overland property is owned by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, headquartered in Chicago. Wolf Enterprises II of Scottsdale, Ariz., the developers of the project, have an option to buy the land.
The Meridian City Council is scheduled to discuss the latest version of the project’s development plan at its Tuesday, Aug. 22, meeting.
Apartments are new to Meridian
Until a few years ago, Meridian had few apartment complexes. Single-family homes have dominated its development over the past quarter-century. Now, though, developers are demonstrating confidence in the city’s potential for apartments, Hood said.
“The Treasure Valley is a great place to live, and the word has gotten out, and we’re getting more and more people to move here,” Hood said.
The Regency at River Valley, off Eagle Road near The Village at Meridian, has 336 units. Another apartment complex planned just north of The Village would add a similar number of units, Hood said.